In the Philippines, figure collecting is one of the many “wishes” of anime/manga/game enthusiasts but the issue that they always encounter is that they doubt if they could even start one. They think that the costs for purchasing is going to cripple them and not to mention the firm belief that one mush have a credit card in-order to purchase one. This is part 1 of a series of posts that would help anyone who wishes to start figure collecting here in the Philippines.
There are numerous ways to purchase legit anime/manga/game goods. One of them is remembering which stores you should visit (which will be covered in the next article) and also the mode of payment. When we say mode of payment, it pertains as to how will you pay for the goods or merchandise. Below are the popular ways on how to pay for them.
1. Credit Card
– this is but a really essential to those who can afford one. Certain individuals despite the young age already have it since they have parents who have opened them an account for such. Credit card however need to be either VISA or MASTERCARD internationally approved. Any credit card that is not VISA/MASTERCARD that is not internationally approved will have a hard time doing online transactions. Hence if you are to get a credit card make sure to inquire about “ONLINE SHOPPING” and “COMPATIBILITY WITH PAYPAL”.
2. Western Union
– Wester Union is a money transfer business that helps people send money from one location to another. They have been around the business for a long time. Certain online shops accept Western Union Money transfer(s) as a mode of payment. Downside of this is the handling fee of Western Union as sometimes it is rather steep but don’t let that get you intimidated.
– known for its worldwide company affiliates and also massive line of online shop affiliates such as EBAY and AMAZON. Paypal has provided service to even those who are working online for people on other countries receiving their salary via Paypal in either Dollars, Pound, Yen etc. A lot of enthusiasts not just the anime/manga/game ones are using it and people have highly recommended Paypal for the longest time for online shopping security. This however requires you to have an E-CARD or Credit Card (Debit Card).
4. Third Party Sellers
– these are sellers that can help and hunt your items by means that a lot of us may not know. They do charge for service but this is also another option for those who really not wish to use any plastic card and want their money in their wallets till the time they can claim the product or merchandise.
Now that you know what they are, you are now surely questioning what is an E-Card since a lot are still interested in Paypal. To explain, an E-Card allows you to do online transaction without the need to have a maintaining balance. This is quite handy as E-CARD(s) nowadays can also be used as a Debit Card. You just need to ensure that you have enough money to use it around the Metro.
Getting the gist of it is but a small fraction of what needs to be done. For those who are interested about E-Card(s) you may be wondering right now where can I get such? E-Cards are available in selected banks only. The most popular one at the moment in the Philippines is “Unionbank EON Card”. I got to know the EON CARD through a friend of mine. At first, I though getting one is tedious like a credit card but apparently its not. What you need to do is visit any UnionBank branch and present a copy of a valid id and 500 PHP which will be deposited into your account. Valid IDs are :
1. School ID ( Valid only if you are a legitimate student/still studying )
2. TIN ID
3. Voter’s ID
4. NBI Clearance
5. SSS ID
6. Postal ID
They will have you fill up a form and (depending as to how the person you talked to over the counter would advise you of your next step) wait for 2-3 bank working days to receive the said EON Card or you may drop by their branch.
You can check the balance of your EON card at any ATM (Automated Teller Machine) and you will see the 500PHP inside it. Now go online to Paypal.com and register for an account. I highly advise not to use your personal email for your paypal account for security purposes. Below are the steps on how you would link your EON CARD to your Paypal account. To see the pages similar to the images below, make sure to log-in to your account first.
If you could create a special email for your Paypal then it would be much better. Once registered you just need to bind your EON CARD to your Paypal account. Now Paypal will need to verify if the said account is activate by checking if the account has balance and by actually deducting an amount which it will return to your account later as well. After 24 Hours, you should be able to use your Paypal and EON card to pay for online purchases. What you just need to do is deposit the needed amount (PESO) to your EON Account via any Unionbank branch.
So for example if the item that you will buy is worth $100 USD then you need to deposit the peso equivalent of $100 USD. You can check the exchange rate via http://finance.yahoo.com/currency-converter then round up the value. You can also leave it to paypal to do the conversion for you by giving it the value or amount of the item and it will give you its conversion rate. Do remember as well that there is a handling fee if the transaction you are to conduct is not a business that is affiliated with Paypal. A sample image below is my own purchase for a Dollfie Dream that has a handling fee.
And that covers part 1 of the guide. Check back for part 2 as we discuss which shops should you buy your merchandise both online and locally and which ones you should avoid! Till then, I’ll see you next time!